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A closer look at the recently passed $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill shows former Congressman Ted Deutch delivered a parting gift to Wilton Manors.

In Division G of the bill, Deutch requested a $1 million earmark on behalf of the City of Wilton Manors for a stormwater improvement project. The request was made to the Environmental Protection Agency under an account titled Cleanwater State Receiving Fund. 

The federal earmark comes amid state orders to upgrade aging local infrastructure. Wilton Manors is currently under a consent order from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection with civil penalties valued at $288,588. 

“The DEP has been engaged in ongoing enforcement with the City of Wilton Manors for several years concerning the chronic unauthorized discharges by its wastewater collection system,” said Jon Moore, spokesman for FDEP’s Southeast District. 

To offset the penalties, which are required to be paid in cash, Wilton Manors proposed an in-kind project with an estimated cost of $2,652,575. The project’s purpose, Moore said, is to install a new primary force main pipe from the city’s master lift station to a new interconnect with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s backbone force main. 

At the Oct. 11, 2022 commission meeting, David Archacki, Wilton Manors Emergency Management and Utilities Director, said the in-kind project would improve the pump capacity to Fort Lauderdale and would travel underneath Northeast 15th Avenue. Archacki told commissioners all 12 of the city’s lift stations would be getting a thorough review.

“We have some leaks and we haven’t found them yet,” Archacki said.

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